Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Saving for a Car One Quarter at a Time

Hard to believe that it has almost been a year since I shared the money series.  It's a huge accomplishment for me to actually stick to something that long.  Ha!  Though we tweaked our system and paydays were not always consistent 2016 paved her foundation in finance Dave Ramsey style. 

  Even at five going on six this little lady is well on her way.  I shared with you the reasons why we give our kids an allowance.  We want them to learn firsthand the purpose of money; to give, to spend, to save.  I shared our chore system.  One quarter per chore, paychecks split into the three categories.  

The learning was plenty for the both of us!  We had to be responsible and consistent.  Yes, I said WE.  Most of her chores are contingent on my own so I had to be on top of it.  She learned that her work reflected her pay.  Continually felt the joy of giving.  She LOVED spending.  Evaluated cost of things she wanted and even questioned tithing.  There were lots of great conversations about money.  Paying for chores truly gave her an opportunity to experience money first hand.

I'm most proud that she learned the one thing I failed to in my childhood, the value of saving.  I vow to make sure these kiddos see and experience the importance of planning long term.  One chore, one quarter at a time she saved up $73 towards her future car [her minivan to be specific hehe].  What a testament to turn 16 and be able to buy her own first car with money she saved since she was five.

Every day we have a choice.  We can tell our money where to go or wonder where it went.  We can teach our kiddos about finances or hope they'll figure it out when they get older.  Choose to take action.  If you're interested in Dave Ramsey's plan you can read my reviews HERE and HEREOther posts related to finances including out own debt free story can be found by clicking the images below.  If your resolution in 2017 is to save more money this is a great place to start!
IMG_1977     12528706_10156549384485251_1926199911_o
  why       money1

Thursday, January 12, 2017

FIRST 3 Steps to Getting Organized

Before we start, lets clarify some vocabulary.  Clean VS Tidy.  Tidy means everything is in it's place, no clutter [no junk drawers].  Clean is when you or your cleaning lady get those rubber gloves on and start scrubbing down the dirt in areas of the house.
I love organizing and getting the satisfaction of having a neat home. After reading The Secret Magic of Tidying Up I learned oodles about myself and tidying.  I came to realize that it didn't matter what containers I used, how big or small our home was because staying organized starts with this foundation.

It's not just a saying, it really is true.  There is a place for everything and everything in it's place.  From now on see every item you own with the mentality that it needs its own "home".   Hair accessories, watches, shoes, kitchen items, keys, tools, batteries, every single toy your kids own down to the last Lego.  Yup EVERYTHING!  If it doesn't have a home, it doesn't belong in YOUR HOME. 

Ever wonder why you always misplace your keys, wallet, phone?  It's may be because these items have too many homes.  If you keep everything in the same place you'll always know where it is.  Give it a home and only one home. 

 Get those trash bags out because this is where every successful organizing mission starts.  What's the point in organizing items that you don't use or want?!  It's clutter!  PURGE!  Once a purge has happened then you can expand and organize. 

 BUT purging doesn't happen just once, it happens whenever things start to get a little crowded.  Like pruning flowers, our home needs pruning too.  I usually purge twice a year and especially before Christmas when our home is going to expect some new items. 

THE SECRET to a tidy house is creating habits.  You may not have the habits yet in order to have a tidy home and that is okay.  A home is not tidy because a person is messy or doesn't know how to organize, it's from a lack of two main habits.

1. You haven't mastered the habit of throwing/giving things away... mail, papers, unused/unwanted items [this is how clutter starts and grows] 
2. You haven't mastered the habit of putting things away [I'm still working on this especially in the laundry department].

 I didn't realize the importance of habits until I stopped having to deal with cleaning out the crazy sticky mess in my purse every few months [thank you Marie for your method].  All my items have a home in the entryway closet.  I choose a purse or bag [left hangy thing], load, grab my shoes [right hangy thing] and leave the house.  As soon as I walk in the house, I put my shoes away, put my keys on the hook, put bag and wallet away [habit number 2] and throw away receipts or junk [habit number 1].  Less than five minutes and ta-da no losing things, no clutter, no mess.  It was a habit worth mastering.

The home may not be perfect or beautifully decorated, but behind every tidy home is an owner who has built this foundation.

1.  Does every item in your house have a "home"?
2.  Do you need to purge and expand? 
3.  Do you have the two good habits of throwing and putting away?

Think about these questions and let's dig right into taking some action!

Click on the image below to see all the posts related to Operation Organization.
Operation Organization

Hooray for a getting organized! 

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Operation Organization: Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: I did not get my college degree in Organizational Studies [hehe] 

I am a regular person who loves organizing.  In NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM is my house perfect or even close to it.  It is no where as organized as I would like it to be.   

I have kids, a husband, friends, a life.   Life is messy and life happens.  I try to give our home space to get a little crazy sometimes.   I know there is no perfect way to organize or perfect system because life is always changing.  We are always moving and growing.  Organizing is a never ending battle that I have come to embrace and am learning to enjoy.  

My desire is to glorify God in the simplest of tasks such as maintaining the home [1 Corinthians 10:31] and to be a good steward of what he has blessed my family with.  Operation Organization is an opportunity to learn and share with one another ways to make life a little easier, a little less cluttered, a little less chaotic.  My hope is we can support one another in creating the home and environment we envision for our loved ones. 

 I hope you join me as I chronicle my journey with getting tidy.  

Jump ahead by clicking the image below and take a look at some organizing ideas I've shared over the years.  
Operation Organization
Hooray for a getting organized! 

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Year Gift

Capturing moments is a passion that the kids have picked up on.  They love stealing my phone to take pictures and look back on old ones.  Anyone else have the same problem?  With the little lady getting older I thought it would be fun to look at 2017 through her eyes.  SOOO I put together a photo inspired New Year gift.

This little combo will give her an opportunity to be creative and store these special memories in a book that she can cherish for years to come. 

I wrapped up the Polaroid camera my sister gave her this summer, fun film and this awesome photo book.

The book perfectly fits the mini Polaroid films and you can keep it open to display the images.

After a few flashes we developed the first memories of 2017.  An ice cream trip is the perfect way to ring in the New Year!

I have to admit I love this gift as much as she does because our family can all be part of it.  I’ve already ordered the next set of film for our next special occasion.  If you have a special someone with a Polaroid camera this is a great gift and keepsake.

Hooray for a New Year! 

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Mommy FAIL


This was a craft I had hoped to share, but it crumbled.  Literally hehehe.  I overheated the chocolate and underestimated the kids patience.  It ended up a chalky mess. 

As a recovered perfectionist this time of year can tempt me with feelings of pressure and inadequacy.  Pinterest is exploding the latest holiday decor, crafts, recipes.  Have you seen the Christmas trees on there?!  It all looks perfect and delicious.  Not to mention non of their kids have sticky fingers and are perfectly posed. 

I use want to have it all and do it all beautifully.  I use want to be everything!  Why not, aren't there 65 hours in the day?!  The reality is I can't be all and do all. 

 We all can't sew elaborate costumes and dresses like Designer Dad, cook five star meals like Giada, bake like Ree Drummond, decorate our homes like Joanna Gains [in my dreams],  craft like Martha Stewart... but that's OKAY!
 This is to you who feels like you don't measure up to that picture perfect mom you have envisioned but doesn't exist. Whether you admit it or not you probably are great at one of these skills.  Let's believe the words we tell our kids; we are all good at different things and we show it in different ways.  BUT aside from your special skill, you have something even more valuable.  YUP, you do and no one can do it like you!  You have a special kind of LOVE that only you can give to your family, friends, and your community. 

All your kids and family need is YOUR love.  All you need is love.  All you need is love love love love.  [hehehee]  Your words of encouragement, acts of service, physical touch, and TIME.  

Before I get swept away in the holiday madness I'm going to remind myself.... No pressure to be perfect.  No inadequacy when what I plan fails.  Love first and all the crafty extras will be the cherry on top. 

Crazy perfectionist mama out there, I want you to remember that YOU are more than enough.  YOU are talented and gifted.  YOU can love like no one else's can and love is all you need. 

Hooray for the holiday season! 

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Magical Neighborhood

**WARNING: I'm going to get a little sentimental and cheesy for a quick second...**

A neighborhood.  The extension of a home.  A magical place where people actually know each other, cook meals for one another [or together], kids play outside in the street,celebrate holidays, and do life.  Not digitally but physically. 

 It sounds so old fashioned, but we are blessed enough to actually live in one of these magical neighborhoods. All of us may not be best friends but each one of you has added value to our lives.

 It's a place I always dreamed we would get to raise our kids.

Each snap, 

from behind the lens

captures a special memory for US.

  I love our neighbors.  

You've shown me that it's not the place, the house, the shops around us that make our neighborhood special it's YOU!  

Monday, October 31, 2016

Last Minute Halloween Crafts

This month I kept our crafting time pretty simple.  Less than three items, lots of paint, and us.  We did some stamping with apples.  Cut apples in half, orange paint and you have pumpkin stamps.

Whose ready to stamp?

Dip.  Press.  Stamp.

And in no time these two were pumpkin stamping, finger stamping, hand stamping, and giggling.  If you've got some extra time you can turn their art into wall art.  A great reminder before we leave to let your light shine!

This second craft simply involved pumpkins and paint.  I don't know why they love doing this so much but they do.

Left hand.

Right hand.  He can't decide.

If you're feeling up to it get a little wild and crazy and put some stickers, pipe cleaners, pom poms, eye balls, and blue on the table!  

Or just keep it simple with paint.  Can you guess whose pumpkin is whose? 

 These two crazy basic crafts are not rocket science but a reminder to myself that sometimes it's the simple things that are the most enjoyable.  A few mini pumpkins, paints, a brush, and mommy and these kiddos are happy.

Happy Halloweenie!